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News posted on Monday 17th October, 2022

Paralympics New Zealand launches Education Pilot in 20 primary schools throughout New Zealand

Education Lead, Jenni Keeley, speaking in a classroom. Three people watching

Key points

  • Paralympics New Zealand is seeking to change perceptions of disability through an ambitious new Education Pilot called ‘Seeing is Believing’.
  • The Pilot will include 20 primary schools throughout New Zealand in 2022.
  • The learning resources have been adapted to the New Zealand Curriculum from an international resource called I’mPOSSIBLE.
  • Additionally, young learners will be visited by a Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion – a Paralympian or Para athlete who will share their lived experience of disability, Para sport and the Paralympic values.

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is proud to announce the launch of its ‘Seeing is Believing’ Paralympic Education Pilot. The Pilot, initially aimed at 20 primary schools in Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Canterbury and Otago, seeks to change perceptions of disability through the lens of Paralympians, Para athletes, and the Paralympic Movement.

PNZ Education Lead Jenni Keeley explains that learning about disability is for everyone, and Para sport is the perfect foundation for values-based education:

“This pilot will connect with both disabled and non-disabled tamariki, their teachers and kaiako, and Whānau.
Learning about Para sports and the Paralympic values opens minds and challenges perceptions, behaviours and choices in a way that extends far beyond the classroom.
It encourages us all to redefine our own possible.”

PNZ Education Lead Jenni Keeley

Twenty primary schools throughout New Zealand will be the first to benefit from the Education Pilot in 2022. A range of engaging, easy to implement learning resources are ready for teachers and kaiako to explore the Paralympic values, Paralympic Movement, and a variety of Para sports. Their feedback will guide the development of a Paralympics New Zealand Education Programme which is expected to roll out nationwide to all New Zealand primary schools in mid-2023.

Ellerslie Primary teacher, Sophie Glen is excited to start the Education Pilot in her classroom:

“Nothing like this exists in Aotearoa today. The resources explore ways to be more inclusive of all tamariki and to promote inclusion for our students, parents, Whānau and wider community. Most importantly, children will learn how to be resilient, compassionate students. It’s absolutely the right age to be exposing tamariki to these concepts.”

Many of the learning resources which the primary schools will use have been tried and tested overseas as a resource called I’mPOSSIBLE. I’mPOSSIBLE was developed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to spread the Paralympic values and vision of the Paralympic Movement to young people throughout the world.  It has been introduced in many countries throughout the world and has now reached New Zealand.

The I’mPOSSIBLE resource has been reshaped to align with the New Zealand Curriculum and includes relevant, engaging learning opportunities for our tamariki. All learning guides are flexible so teachers and kaiako can adapt them to reflect their own school community.

The Education Pilot isn’t only a set of learning resources – it is two-pronged. As well as the learning materials, PNZ has connected schools in the pilot with a Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion who will visit the young learners as they go through the pilot.

Harvey Norman Para Sport Champions are Paralympians or Para athletes who bring the Paralympic values of determination, courage, inspiration, and equality to life through their actions and achievements.  Their stories highlight these values, and they encourage us to explore how the values can be applied in our own lives. The Seeing is Believing pilot runs through term 4. To be the first to know when the Programme is opened to all schools in 2023, teachers and kaiako are encouraged to register their interest.

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